What artifacts did the Olmecs leave behind?
The men wore breech-cloth, back apron and a belt. The women wore knee length skirts. The priests wore their slaves skin when sacrificed.
Olmec artists are known for both monumental and miniature portrayals of what are assumed to be persons of authority-from six-ton heads sculptures to figurines. The Olmecs (/ˈɒlmɛks, ˈoʊl-/) were the earliest known major Mesoamerican civilization.
The Olmec especially valued the bluish color of this jadeite mask. Jadeite, a rare variety of greenstone, occurs naturally in very few places around the world. The material for this mask likely originated from the Motagua River valley in present-day Guatemala, the only known source of jadeite in ancient Mesoamerica.
Olmec means ‘ people from the rubber country ‘This Olmec mask was worn around the neck as a pendant. It may have provided the wearer with a new identity as an ancestor or deity – perhaps as the Olmec rain god. The distinctive toothless, down-turned mouth and infant-like face are typical of Olmec art.
The Olmec were American Indians, not Negroes (as Melgar had thought) or Nordic supermen.”
Houses. Olmec homes were very simple and made out of logs, heavy stone, and clay. Olmecs liked to live near flood plains so built their houses on small mounds or platforms. They also lived in buildings with earth packed around poles which were used as sleeping area, dining room, and shelter.
Archaeological evidence also suggests that they originated the Mesoamerican practices of the Mesoamerican Ballgame —a popular game in the pre-Columbian Americas played with balls made from solid rubber—and that they may have practiced ritual bloodletting.
Olmec Food, Crops, and Diet They planted many of the same crops seen in the region today, such as squash, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Maize was a staple of the Olmec diet, although it is possible that it was introduced late in the development of their culture.
Olmec art lived on in ancient Mesoamerican aesthetic traditions as well. The sculptors and painters in Olmec-period Mexico were the first to portray many of the iconic features of self-proclaimed divine rulers in Mesoamerica.
We, and most other scholars who have studied Olmec art, would further agree that the particular “god” associated with rain is a were-jaguar, that is, a mask dominated by the characteristically feline mouth with downturned corners beneath a pug nose.
The object is carved from serpentine, a dark green stone, commonly used in Olmec artwork. Due to its small size ( 13cm x 11.3cm x 5.7cm ), the object was most likely worn as a pendant rather than a mask. The face is probably a depiction of an Olmec king.
The Olmec art style is found on objects as far afield as the Valley of Mexico to the north and the Pacific coast of Chiapas to the south.
Items buried in offerings included ceramic vessels, stone sculptures, obsidian blades, seashells, greenstone, and objects gathered from earlier locales (like Olmec sites and the city of Teotihuacan).
Said to be part-human, part-beast and named after a former owner, the Kunz Axe features a jaguar-shaped mouth and almond-shaped eyes. The figure may represent a chief or shaman who has transformed himself into a powerful jaguar to draw on its power.
Check the back of the mask for wear, including the holes for fastening the mask on the face. The wearer does a lot of moving in his dances, and contact between body and wood can leave sweat and oil stains. 2. Look for wear from forehead, cheeks, chins and noses.